Law Offices of John Michael Jensen

Writs, Petitions for Writs

John Jensen also represents clients in Petitions for Writs, Petitions for Writs of Administrative Mandate, Petitions for Writs of Mandate and other Extraordinary Relief.

In California law, writs serve as formal written orders from a court commanding a party to perform or cease performing a specified action. Writs are an essential part of the judicial system and are used to provide a remedy in situations where no other relief is available or when the remedy provided by trial is inadequate or would result in irreparable harm.

Writs of Mandate (Mandamus)

A writ of mandate, also known as mandamus, is used to compel a public agency, a corporation, an inferior judicial body, or a person to perform a duty that they are legally obligated to carry out. There are two primary types of writs of mandate in California:

  1. Traditional Mandamus (CCP § 1085): This type of writ is issued to command the performance of an act that the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station. It is often used when there is no discretion on the part of the respondent: the duty is clear, and the petitioner has a clear right to the performance of the duty.
  2. Administrative Mandamus (CCP § 1094.5): This writ is directed at judicial review of administrative decisions. It is typically used to challenge the decisions of state or local agencies or any administrative body when the decision is final and affects a fundamental vested right. The petitioner is asking the court to review the administrative record and determine whether the agency’s action was arbitrary, capricious, lacking in evidentiary support, or in excess of jurisdiction.

Petition for Writ of Administrative Mandamus

A petition for a writ of administrative mandamus is filed when a party seeks to have a court review and possibly reverse a final administrative decision or action. The following elements are generally required for this type of writ:

  1. Exhaustion of Remedies: The petitioner must have pursued all available administrative appeals or motions, essentially exhausting the administrative process.
  2. Beneficial Interest: The petitioner must demonstrate that they have a direct, beneficial interest in the outcome of the case.
  3. Final Administrative Order or Decision: The decision or action being challenged must be final, meaning there is no further recourse within the agency.
  4. Affecting a Fundamental Right: The decision must involve a fundamental vested right, which is a right that has been legitimately acquired or is otherwise guaranteed, such as a property right or a right to practice one’s profession.

The petition for a writ of administrative mandamus is typically filed in the Superior Court and must follow specific procedural rules. The court’s review in such cases is generally limited to the administrative record, and the court will not usually consider new evidence.

The purpose of both types of writs is to ensure that government entities and officials act within their jurisdiction and provide a judicial check on administrative power. Writs are particularly important in the California legal system because they offer a timely and direct method for review of certain decisions, often before an aggrieved party has suffered irreparable harm or when other remedies would be inadequate.